Transformers #12 is a strange issue. Rather than focusing on events on Cybertron which appear to be hurtling towards a boiling point, it makes the audience wait as it pulls a South Park a la ‘Cartman’s Mom is a Dirty Slut‘ – and how often do you hear that sort of quality reference in a Transformers review?
Issue #12 slots in a story set back before issue #10, which cuts back to Sentinel Prime and crew, still in space, and focuses on the character of Nautica and her bodyguard Road Rage (who bears more than a passing resemblance to the Gen 1 Autobot known as Tracks). Nautica, as the name might suggest, seems to have a bit of a thing for water. She seems disconnected from her fellows, more interested in what there is to be seen and learned in the universe outside of her tightly constrained, limited world, displaying both an aptitude for and a fascination with the languages and cultures of the organic races she meets.
She quickly discovers that some of the delegates about Sentinel Prime’s ship may have ulterior motives in being there and begins to investigate, culminating in a conversation with a sentient bomb that can’t help but bring up comparisons to the movie Dark Star, where the crew end up debating philosophy with a malfunctioning bomb in an attempt to get it to shut down before it blows up the ship.
First off, it’s lovely to see that this series is showcasing more of the universe outside of Cybertron and its inhabitants. This was touched on briefly in previous storylines where it was implied that most of the other sentient races choose to stay FAR away from the millenia-long civil war and the seeming determination of the Cybertronians to kill one another.
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Also, seeing that now-iconic transformation noise rendered on the page as “Tonk-Kunk-Tonka” is just hilarious. Also-Also, Road Rage’s alt-form looks like something straight out of that other famous 80’s cartoon series MASK. (Always remember that Trakker’s gonna lead the mission and Spectrum’s got such super vision).
So what does this issue add to the overall storyline? Right now it’s not clear. We see Starscream being his usual self and even back then when he was on the side of the Autobots, nobody trusted him. Some things never change. We learn about Nautica and her fascination with philosophy and xenobiology but for the moment it’s pure speculation as to how this will tie into what’s going on back on Cybertron. There is the whole plot thread with the Voin who witnessed things he really shouldn’t have, so possibly Nautica will be involved in that, but otherwise this is just an odd, but intriguing, little detour from the powder-keg that is present day Cybertron.
Transformers #12 is available digitally and from comic shops.